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For decades, cannabis has found itself a slave to stereotype characterized by anachronistic tokens of a sluggish, yet peaceful, past. These cultural artifacts – bongs, tie-dye shirts and Grateful Dead posters – have in recent years started to be replaced by a new guard, and a sophisticated new treatment of a plant that has long been held in the shadows.

In recent years, as cannabis has started to find acceptance as both a therapeutic and recreational agent, so too have researchers, academics and business professionals gravitated to the budding cannabis industry. The result has been no short of impressive, particularly in the scientific advancement made in cannabis space in a few short years.

The relationship between cannabis and science and cannabis and business is like no other. First, the industry is founded on the backs of a culture with a firm, if played, image. Cannabis culture has already written the rules for many topics the industry now simply accepts, including delivery methods, labelling conventions and product pricing.

Where science has helped really level the playing field for cannabis, particularly when used as a treatment option, is in the advancements that have been made in the space since business interests, and ultimately researchers and scientists, have turned their attention to the plant. As business interests in medical and recreational cannabis have increased, so has the image of the plant, and its properties and applications.1

The science of medical cannabis is now a well-oiled machine built on three primary components: Product development, research, and new delivery methods. The first includes innovations in the areas of extraction, accessories and new products. With somany new companies and researchers engaging with the industry, there are new cannabis products being brought to market every day. 

The research category is somewhat self-explanatory, yet includes a wealth of topics – from the use of cannabis to treat opioid addition, to the use of particular cannabinoids to treat  specific diseases. There are hundreds of trials of nearly every stripe being conducted with cannabis as a prospective remedy for dozens of illnesses, ailments and symptoms.2

Perhaps the most exciting element of the contemporary connection between science and medical cannabis is the result of much of the recent research. Where cannabis has traditionally been consumed via tincture, flower or oil, the new class of cannabis delivery methods is robust, effective and many are effectively safe products.

As the relationship between business and medical and recreational cannabis has galvanized to the tune of drug policy reforms, science has quickly made up for lost time in the space. As one of the most exciting industries on the planet, cannabis has quickly outgrown the limits of its cultural past. Where science will next take the plant, and all its potential, is truly anyone’s guess.

  1. High science. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2015/06/marijuana-science-drug-research-legality/
  2. 5 major developments that change how we should think about marijuana. https://www.alternet.org/drugs/marijuana-health-five-new-scientific-developments

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